May 1, 2020
On May 1, JICA President KITAOKA Shinichi had an online meeting with Mr. Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The two leaders shared information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on their respective field operations, while reviewing the feedbacks from information exchanges at country offices. In light of the pandemic, President Maurer said that he wanted to strengthen the cooperation between the ICRC and development cooperation agencies, particularly JICA in strengthening health system and improving access to water and sanitation.
President Kitaoka mentioned that the COVID-19 crisis could mark an important turning point in history, and that, in light of this recognition, JICA plans to embark on a research on “international cooperation in the post-COVID-19 world”. In addition, he also said that JICA is carrying out a research in responses to COVID-19 with emphasis on health systems and Universal Health Coverage (UHC*). President Maurer voiced great interest and readiness for cooperation in these efforts.
(*) Universal Health Coverage (UHC): The ability for all people to receive promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative
and palliative health services at an affordable cost.
President Maurer shared his concern that countries affected by the pandemic would prioritize domestic economic policies over overseas assistance, and emphasized his willingness to advocate for the importance of international cooperation. Stating his intention of pursuing innovative financing mechanisms for humanitarian assistance, President Maurer reiterated his desire for continuing discussions with JICA.
JICA will continue working with partners to minimize the damage caused by COVID-19 in developing regions while endeavoring in every possible way to ensure the safety of all stakeholders in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.